Jess Rowlings is the CEO and co-founder of Next Level Collaboration, as well as a qualified speech and language pathologist. She also works as a researcher at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, and previously Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Jess’ work is informed by her lived experience of receiving autism and ADHD diagnoses as an adult as well as her lifelong love of games. As a researcher, she is passionate about the use of digital games-based learning to promote inclusion and a sense of belonging, and her work has included developing and running a dedicated Minecraft server to support neurodivergent girls and women.
Jess’s favourite game is The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, but she also enjoys the Metroid series, Animal Crossing, and classic PlayStation 2 platformers.
Outside of gaming, Jess enjoys sewing and prop building, LEGO, and playing with her dog, Snickers!
Dr Matthew Harrison (Matt) is an experienced educator, researcher, and digital creator with a keen passion for utilising technology and games-based intervention to enhance children’s social learning and inclusion. Matt is a senior lecturer at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (University of Melbourne) and specialises in building graduate teachers’ capacity to support neurodivergent students and promote inclusive education. The Next Level Collaboration program was developed from Matt’s PhD research, and his current research primarily focuses on supporting neurodiversity through inclusive education practices, along with the incorporation of digital technologies as teaching and learning tools.
Matt’s favourite games include the Donkey Kong Country series, Starcraft 2, and Rayman Legends.
Outside of gaming, you can find Matt building Lego sets or going for a run!